Morality and Ethical Behaviors

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Morality is a complex interplay of factors that determine our choices and reactions to ethical decisions and thus, self reflection plays a major role in influencing our sense of morality. Gino and Mogilner (2014) have tested this concept by examining the effects of time, a precursor to self reflection, and money have on ones decision to cheat, representing their level of morality, successfully showing a prominent link between these factors. Despite this, the ability for Gino and Mogilner’s (2014) research to be applied to real life situations is limited by their experimental choices and operationalised variables. The prominence of self reflection within moral decisions is clearly experimentally evident, however in real life situations, an array of other factors are involved.

When it comes to moral decisions, it has been suggested that ethical behaviour is largely influenced by the self and ones desire to maintain a positive image of themselves (Adams, Bryan & Monin, 2013). Gino and Mogilner (2014) have shown, across both single and two-factor experiments, that prompting self reflection minimised the difference between effects of money and time primes, consolidating that self reflection, or specifically, question of self image (Ploner & Regner, 2013) is a determining factor in moral decisions. Thus, they have proven to successfully advocate a relationship between time, money and morality however limitations arise when applying their study and the concept of self reflection to real life situations.

Gino and Mogilner (2014) have operationalised cheating as a measure of morality, somewhat limiting the application of the experiment. Specific to the study, this concept is successful in that an individual’s moralit...

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...no external implications or influences, and thus the priming of time or money respectively is illuminated as they are the only factors influencing the decision. Although in real life self reflection may encourage more moral

decisions, the array of other influential factors will show this factor to be of less significance and, hence, their research has limited application to real life scenarios.

Overall, Gino and Mogilner (2014) have successfully shown that time, money and, more prominently, self reflection have a distinct influence on one’s morality. Despite this, their experimental methods and operationalised variables, although sound, limit the applicability of the study to real life. Ultimately, self reflection has a large influence on moral decisions but this influence is less prevalent in real life ethical situations due to the complexity of morality.
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